Page 87 of Claimed (For Her 3)

I’ve been up here only once before, and the desk was empty then. I just had to drop the paperwork the CEO was asking for and leave. But this time, there’s a woman sitting in front of me, and every cell in my body has just been electrocuted.

Her dark brown hair is in a knot at the back of her neck. She’s tucked away a few loose strands to keep them out of her eyes. Her black-framed glasses are on the edge of her nose, and she pushes them up as she reads over something on her desk. Her hand scribbles a note with a pen she’s holding, and I think about how delicate those fingers are. How small they would look pressed against my bare chest.

She hasn’t looked up to notice me, yet everything in my world has suddenly been swept away by a tsunami. How did she not see it happen? One second I was normal, regular Jordan just like every day before. And then I was hers. There’s an invisible line that’s just tethered me to her, and I’m forever a changed man. My insides have genetically mutated into a man made to become hers. On the outside, though, nothing has changed.

The doors to the elevator try to close and end up squishing me. I let out a grunt, pushing on them to make them open, and step off the elevator fully. When I look back to her, I see she’s staring at me.

Chocolate-brown eyes meet mine, and my mouth falls open. Jesus Christ, how can one woman be so beautiful? Is this legal? Are there petitions going around to ban this sort of attractiveness? She can’t be real.

“Can I help you?” she asks, smiling at me like an angel.

Her lips are kind and indulgent, and God help me I want to ravage her like some sort of romance hero. I want to reach over and push everything off the desk, then crawl over the top of it and claim what belongs to me.

She clears her throat, and I blink, realizing I’ve just fallen down a rabbit hole of total desire.

“A file,” I say, and her perfect brows draw together in confusion. I lick my lips and try again. “I’ve got a file.”

“I can see that,” she says, looking down at my hand and then back to me.

There’s a list forming in my head of illegal things that I would do in order to have those eyes look at me for the rest of my life.

“It’s for Mr. Osbourne,” I say, taking another step forward.

She stands up from her desk, and God she’s so short. I bet if I were on top of her she’d disappear under me. The thought sends a warm tingle down my spine, and then my mind wanders to how easy she would be to pick up, how slight she is compared to me. I could protect her and keep her safe without much effort.

I blink and see she’s got her hand out, waiting on the folder, but she must have been in that position for quite some time because she drops it and walks around the desk to take it from me. I feel the file slip from my fingers, and panic begins to take over. I’m not ready to leave.

“Hmm. This is the Lannister folder,” she says, flipping it open and thumbing through the pages.

I clench my fists so tight my knuckles turn white as I itch to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear.

“I swear this deal is going to be a pain in my butt. I can already see it. It’s got to go back to Stein and he’s always avoiding my emails. I know most of the time I’m just hungry, and you know what they say about not eating. It makes you more irritated. Hangry, that’s it!” She looks down at her watch and then back to me. “I’m about to starve to death. Do you want to go downstairs to the cafeteria and eat with me? I don’t know you, but you work here, and there’s never anyone on this floor to go with, so I thought I might as well ask the only other person I’ve seen. Are you hungry, or did you already eat?”

Her voice washes over me, and I stand there like an idiot. She asked me a question, but she’s going a million miles an hour and I don’t know where to begin. I think I must nod, because she smiles at me, and I want her to keep doing it.

“Great. I’ll grab my wallet. Oh, and let me make sure the coffeepot is off. There’s nothing worse than the smell of burnt coffee. I forgot once and left just a tiny amount in the bottom, and the warmer was still on. It scorched the bottom of the pot, and it took me a week to get the smell out. And it’s not like you can just open a window on the top floor.”